US to Invest $150M in Southeast Asia

US government officials announced Thursday plans to invest in Southeast Asian nations another $150 million in initiatives that would deepen the United States’ relations with the region. 

“This reflects, I think, recognition on the part of the administration that we need to step up our game in Southeast Asia, and that we need to, as part of that we need to work more closely with ASEAN,” a White House senior administration official said

The U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit on Thursday and Friday includes leaders from the ASEAN bloc, held for the first time in Washington, D.C., and at the White House. 

According to the US official, the investments will be for clean energy infrastructure, regional maritime initiatives, COVID-19 recovery, financial services, digital development, financing clean, energy products and projects that advance net-zero goals, and English language programs expansion. 

In October, Biden announced a $102 million investment to support Southeast Asian nations and expand cooperation on health, climate, science and innovation, trade facilitation, and education. 

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